D Plus 20 (D+20) 11 March, 1945
9th Marines- On March 11 the 1st Bn was ordered to contact the 3d Bn 9th Mar along the beach at 202-E, the approximate center of the Regtl Zone of action. The Regtl attack order for the day called for, in addition to that mission just stated, the 1st Bn to attack NE, seize the ridge, and then attack East. The attack jumped off at 0730. At 1515 the 1st Bn and 3d Bn 9th made physical contact on the beach in the center of the Regtl Zone of Action and began mopping up toward the high ground overlooking the beach. These two battalions made contact also just south of HILL 362, on hill 202-A, which the 3d Bn seized in a rapid advance from just east of HILL 362 against slight resistance. The high ground 800 off of the beach was organized for the night, and the beach itself outposted. The 3d Bn 21st Mar during the day attacked eastward against the ever strong defenses, and succeeded in destroying positions, but were unable to make a measurable advance.
T 11 Mar. 2d Bn was finally passed through by elements of the 27th Mar, and continued to patrol beach area and assembled in vicinity of 217 W. One Co 1st Bn 21st Marines released from 9th Mar to parent organization. 1st Bn gained contact with elements of 27th Mar, and continued to patrol beach area and conduct mopping up operations in Regtl ZofA.
23rd Marines - DOG PLUS TWENTY, 11 MARCH, 1945
No enemy activity of special note occurred during the night. At King minus 60 (0730), RCT 23 continued the attack to seize the remainder of the island within its zone, with no change in boundaries or units in the line. On the left 2/23 encountered no resistance, but was unable to advance the entire line to the coast until 3d division secured the right zone of its area along the high ground at the Division boundary. Strong combat patrols with engineer demolition squads were sent forward to the beach and encountered no enemy resistance. On the right 3/24 encountered a strong pocket vicinity TA 185 K, which took co K (3/24) all day to neutralize. At 1300, co K (3/23) was attached to 3/24 to assist in the cleaning out this resistance and mopping-up the area. Both were accomplished by 1600. Mopping-up of the entire RCT zone was continuous throughout the day, and, at 1445 2/23 reported that the beach areas on the left of the RCT zone was secured. At 1530, 1/23 initiated relief of 2/23, taking over the same positions occupied by 2/23 on the previous night, and assuming control of Co C, 4th Engr Bn. by 1700, 1/23 completed the relief. BLT 2/23 (less Co F) returned to a rear assembly area in TA 165 BC, and closed prior to 1830. co F occupied a rear security line as an anti infiltration measure in the vicinity of TA 200 N. Cos I and L passed to parent control and occupied the reserve line in rear of 1/23 in TA 201 JOTY. by 1545, the beach area in 3/24 zone was reached by troops, and RCT 23 reported completion of the assigned mission in its zone of action. The RCT CP remained at TA 182 Y.
24th Marines - 11 March, 1945
There was no enemy activity in the RCT assembly area from 0001 until dawn Orders were received from Division for RCT 23 with BLT 3/24 attached and RCT 25 with BLT 2/24 attached to continue the attack at King-Hour minus 60 minutes (0730). BLT 1/24 was to remain in Corps Reserve. RCT 24 (less BLTs 1/24, 2/24, 3/24) remained in Division reserve. The day was spent salvaging gear and equipment, cleaning weapons and resting. The RCT kept in constant touch with the tactical situation. Reconnaissance of the zone or action of RCT 23 and RCT 25 was made. At 1700 all units consolidated in their assigned positions. There was no enemy activity during the period.
25th Marines - D plus 20, 11 March, 1945.
During the night of 10?11 March the greatest activity was within the pocket of resistance in TA 184-I?N where groups of the encircled enemy tried to break out through the night. At K minus 75 (0745) RCT-25 (BLT-2/24 and Div Recon Co attached) continued the attack towards the sea with the units in line from left to right as follows: BLT-3/25, BLT-2/25, BLT?2/24 with BLT-3/25 on the left making the main effort. The RCT was 15 minutes late in jumping off due to the reorganization necessitated by enemy activities during the night. BLT-3/25 met extremely heavy opposition on its left and was unable to move its left any appreciable distance. On the right of BLT-3/25 some progress was made and the left of BLT-2/25 was able to move out in conjunction with the right of BLT-3/25 for an advance of approximately 200 yards. heavy mortar and rocket fire was placed on the front lines of BLT-3/25 and BLT-2/25 throughout the day causing heavy casualties.
At 0800, BLT-2/25 supported by BLT-1/25 commenced operations to eliminate the pocket in TA 184-I-N and this was completed by 1100. BLT-1/25 was then assigned the mission of mopping up the areas taken on the preceding day. At 1200, BLT-2/25 was ordered to move its two unemployed companies (E and F Co) to the left of the RCTs zone, prepared to employ them in that area. At 1300, Co F was placed in the line between BLT-3/25 and RCT-23 to fill a gap which had been created by the excessive casualties in BLT-3/25 and because the right unit of RCT-23 on BLT-3/25s left did not move abreast. AT 1530, BLT-1/25 reported its area of the previous day completely mopped up and it was ordered to take up a secondary position astride the beach road behind BLT-2/24. At 1730, units were ordered to consolidate on ground then held, establish firm contact along the line, and to dig in for the night. BLT-1/25 was ordered to provide security for the beach area and Co B, 2d Arm Amph Bn was attached to BLT-1/25 for that purpose.
D+20, 11 Mar 45 Weather: Clear. LT 326 reverted to CT 26 at about 0800. At about 0830 LT 226 was relieved by elements of CT 28, CT 28 taking over that sector. At about 1100 LT 226 passed through LT 126 and became attached to CT 27, LT 126 reverting to CT 26. CT 26 (less LT 226) assembled in 5thMarDiv reserve. At about 1000 platoons of Co "A" 5thEngrBn, resumed normal attachments to LTs. During previous 10 days' action enemy identifications indicated that CT 26 had been opposed chiefly by 3rd Bn, 145 Infantry, and elements of 204th Construction unit. Casualties 4 Off, 44 Enl. Replacements: - Off, ; 2 Enl. Returned to duty: 4 Off, 10 Enl. Effective Strength: 93 Off, 1966 Enl.
27th Marines - D plus 20 11 March, 1945
The enemy shelled our front lines and rear areas with heavy artillery for about 2 hours beginning at 0020. Some of the shells were smoke shells while others were air bursts. These guns were destroyed. Small infiltration attempts were reported during the night and there were frequent exchanges of small arms fire. The enemy continued to use small arms fire at point-blank ranges to check our advance. Occasional pillboxes and blockhouses were encountered but, for the main part, caves continued to be the principle defense installations. One blockhouse in T.S. 235L was in T.S. 235L was merely chipped by 18 rounds of 75mm fire. It appears certain that the enemy was using our M1 rifles and machine guns in their defense. AT 2100, definite infiltration attempts on the right flank of our lines were repelled. In one of our 81mm mortar positions 7 enemy troops were killed. One of these men was dressed in a Marine Uniform and carrying an M1 rifle. The others carried only hand grenades. There was no identification. The enemy dead reported to date was 1401.
28th Marines - D+20 1800, 10 March to 1800, 11 March.
Night activity: As usual, a few infiltrators attempted to get through, but were killed.
Daylight operations: CT-28 ordered by Division to continue attack at 0830 and seize the remainder of the island in our zone of action. Boundary between CT-28 and CT-27: 234 K south, 235 B center, 251 center. Direction of attack, north.
LT-328 was released to Combat Team control and, as ordered by Division, was put in the line on LT-128's right relieving LT-226. Lt-128 and LT-228 were ordered to continue the attack at 0830 to gain the ridgeline to the front overlooking a large draw running east and west across our entire front.
All three landing teams immediately ran into heavy and extremely accurate small arms fire. Advances up to twenty yards were made.
Another coordinated attack was attempted at 1300, but little progress was made. Total advances for the day amounted to thirty yards.
CP's: Lt-328 in 217 C, otherwise no change.
Casualties for period: Supporting units for period
KIA & DOW 2 31 1 destroyers WIA 1 95 2d Bn, 13th Marines SK (evac) 14 TOTAL 3 140
Combat efficiency: 40%